|Day 2 was now over and sleep and food had been in short supply. One thing that hadn’t been in short supply was whining, griping and complaining about communication and food and on and on. Of course everyone has their own set of beefs with how things are being handled. Most of the concerns are completely substantiated and needed to be addressed.
Well at noon, or Director, Producer, Writer, Talent and Bus Driver, Matt decided it was time to address them.
Matt gathered us all together and laid into us all with as many expletives as were possible. This went on for a couple of minutes and I’ll need to paraphrase a little to convey to you the jist of what he was trying to say.
Basically he told us we were on our own for meals and that if we were hungry we needed to find a solution on our own instead of depending on him to appoint meal locations and times. His biggest beef was that we had all whined about it over and over, but hadn’t actively tried to be a part of the solution. This was what got him angry.
These are the first days of a close symbiotic relationship between 16 very different people and we are all working out how, where and when to be. Now that he had said we needed to fend for ourselves we all know we are responsible for finding our food either by ordering Pizza or stashing granola bars or what not.
His point about whining was also a very good one. We had all gotten pretty negative. HOWEVER – The stern cussing out we all endured was, in my mind, uncalled for. Steven got up and left and I considered it – as did most of us.
I stayed because I could tell Matt was genuinely ticked off and maybe even hurt. From his perspective, he’s doing EVERYTHING and trying his hardest to make everything work and we’re just complaining about how bad a job he’s been doing, so I can see how he might be upset.
That being said, I don’t know if many of us would put up with another verbal thrashing like we received today.
With no generator there was no electricity or lights or air-conditioning on the bus. We were forced to travel with the windows open and lights off. As long as the bus was moving it was actually very nice to have the cool breezes of Alabama and Tennessee floating by.
The lack of electricity meant that when batteries died as they tend to do on a 9 hour bus ride, we had to resort to talking to one another for entertainment.
I spent a couple of hours talking to our new bass player Lauren. I learned all sorts of things about her that – had I been buried in my laptop I would have missed out on. It’s nice when circumstances pull the plug and cause you to get back in touch with where you are.
Now, as it was getting dark I settle back in my seat and called Mary to check on how things were back home. She seemed good and I was feeling better about being trapped out on the road being cussed out and sleep deprived.
Then, I talked to my boy. There’s really nothing quite like hearing your own offspring talking to you from thousands of miles away. He was bright and cheery and sounded genuinely excited to talk to me. I started to loose it on his second sentence. Or conversation went something like this.
Where are you daddy?
At this point Max started to cry and it was hard to tell exactly what he was saying, but I could tell he was upset and I think he may have thought I was telling him he couldn’t dress up for Halloween. He started to cry and say he wanted to be Pablo and dress up like a Penguin. I was a mess at this point and couldn’t talk anymore.
Mary took the phone back and asked me if I was okay.
I wasn’t. I’m still not.
In the back ground I heard him saying I broke his heart. I know it was 8:30 or so and he was past his bedtime and therefore prone to dramatics due to his need of sleep. I also knew that he missed me and I missed him. He wanted me there and I couldn’t be.
I thought I was doing alright, but apparently not.
|It wasn’t the sound of my alarm clock that awoke me at 6 am this morning, but instead the reminder alarm of my cell phone. I set that to remind me to call my guitar player Paul and make sure he was awake. Although I made it home shortly before 1 am last night, I hadn’t gone to sleep until about 3. I had spent those 2 hours talking to my wife Mary about everything under the sun, not wanting to say goodnight and go to sleep because then it would be time to leave.
Last night was supposed to be our second rehearsal with our new bass player, Lauren. However, due to “circumstances beyond control” our rehearsal was canceled and Lauren is from Seattle, WA and is the most recent bass player to join our little band of 5 instrumentalists in the band which accompanies the new musical adventures of the 3 Red Neck Tenors.
Now I say supposed to be our second rehearsal because the bus containing our music and several of our singers is still on its way back from Oklahoma where it had been undergoing repairs. We can only hope that this represents the end of any troubles with our bus.
So it’s 6 AM and I call Paul and try to sound as peppy as possible. His girl-friend Lindsey answered the phone and confirmed that they were in fact up and moving. Later on the bus she said I sounded pretty asleep which is consistent with my memory of our conversation.
Well, I shoved the last of my belonging into my suitcase and zipped it shut. I crept into my son Max’s room and gave him a kiss on the cheek to say goodbye. Hey responded with a yawn and rolled over and went back to sleep. It is going to be hard to leave him behind.
Then I went in to say goodbye to Mary. She wished me safety and told me she loved me and I was out the door. Besides saying goodbye to my wife and kid for 8+ weeks I am also saying goodbye to my house.
My wife and I bought our current house about 5 years ago and are just about to close the deal on selling it. We are having a house built in Aledo which is significantly bigger, better school, and higher priced.
So farewells are flowing pretty freely as I had kissed both members of my family goodbye and just closed the door for the last time to my home of 5 years. However, no time for that – I’m late!
Now, as I’m sure will become exceedingly evident in the entries to follow this, the Grapevine based production company is not exactly famous for doing things according to any kind of schedule. However, I didn’t wish to start the tour off late, so I broke the land speed record for traversing from Fort Worth to Grapevine.
When I arrived there was of course plenty of time before we were underway and I was able to run to Chick-fillet and grab some breakfast. I moved into my spot in the back of the bus and proceeded to sleep off and on for several hours until it was noon.
When I woke up we had pulled into a bus stop somewhere just before the Texas – Louisiana border. I’m usually pretty disoriented when I first wake up, but add to that being at some non-descript bus stop where the clearest landmark is the presence of trees that are much taller and greener than the normal central Texas variety. Apparently there was no further plan for lunch than this truck stop so I bought a Hotlink, a bag of pretzels and a water.
Tonight we stopped just out of Jackson Mississippi to indulge in some local Mexican food. Now we’re headed further towards Alabama and eventually to our destination of Niceville, Florida. Our estimated time of arrival is now 2:30am.
Traveling hasn’t been to bad, but it’s only 9 PM now so we’ll see how I feel when we get to the Hotel 17 hours after leaving Grapevine